Most people realize that acne is a common ailment, but few people really realize the actual prevalence of acne and other skin-related conditions. If you or someone you know suffers with acne, here’s it what you need to know. Remember with any skin condition, especially acne, knowing the facts can make a big difference in being able to treat the condition.
Acne isn’t just common in the United States. It is the most common skin condition, affecting roughly 40 to 50 million individuals annually. The condition is described as a chronic inflammatory skin condition that is arises in a number of different forms. Blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and even cysts or nodules are typical forms of acne, and the condition can affect the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and even the upper arms. While acne can occur at any age, it is most common in adolescents and young adults, with nearly 85 percent of individuals ages 12 to 24 experiencing at least a minor case of acne.
What Makes Acne Worse?
You’ve probably heard lots of different warnings to avoid the common causes of acne, like eating too much sugar or oily foods, but the truth is these aren’t really the true cause of acne. This skin condition is affected by several factors but is typically caused by overactive sebaceous oil glands that cause the pores to become plugged with oil and old skin cells. Once the pores are plugged, the bacteria naturally present on the skin multiplies and causes lesions. Additional factors can make acne worse, including:
- Genetics or heredity
- Emotional stress
- Certain foods, including white grains and sweets
How to Treat Acne
There are a number of different recommended treatments for acne, and it seems that almost everyone has a different remedy. Most recently, only 10 percent of individuals consult their physician while 20 percent of affected individuals seek assistance from a skin care center. Surprisingly, 40 percent of individuals do nothing to treat acne while the other 30 percent simply use over-the-counter products. At the very least you should follow a simple acne care routine that involves a few simple steps.
- Wash the affected area with a mild, non-drying soap to avoid further agitation of the skin.
- Avoid touching your face and be sure to keep your hair out of your face and oil-free.
- Do not pop, pick, or squeeze acne to avoid scarring.
- Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly to cleanse the skin.
- Seek treatment from a board-certified dermatologist if your acne does not respond to over-the-counter medication.
While you may not realize it, acne not only has physical ramifications. It also affects individuals emotionally. In fact, roughly 92 percent of individuals who have dealt with acne report that they have felt symptoms of depression with 14 percent of individuals sating that they have felt suicidal at points.
Obviously, with acne being such a far-reaching condition, it is important to understand the condition. If you or someone you know deals with acne, remember you are not alone and there are several different treatment options you can try.
Originally published October 23, 2015.